Monday, April 21, 2014

loving myself -- then and now

What were you writing about last year at this time? What has changed?

He sees all of them. All the time. I can pretend to hide them from Him, but I'm only hiding them from myself.

The dark places in my heart. Fear that I am not good enough. Shame at my deepest desires. Judgment of my self. Judgment of others. Lack of compassion. Envy.

The places that bog me down when I let myself recognize their existence. That drag me farther away from Him. That make it impossible to hear His voice calling me back to Him. His voice saying, "I knew that about you already. Come back. It's okay. I'll help you. I love you in spite of yourself."

Saturday I sat on a blanket on the floor of a sanctuary I'd never entered before. I sat with my head bowed, my beads in my hands, my shawl over my lap. And I listened. I told Him I was opening my heart to Him. I told Him my deepest desires. I cried -- not long aching sobs, just simple tears sliding down my face and landing on my hands. No choking or gasping. And I don't know if they were tears of sadness, hurt, gratitude, or joy, but I don't think it matters. I cracked the shell open a little more, and let Him come in deeper. I trusted Him to not take advantage of my vulnerability.

There was no epiphany. There is no sudden change in my life. I don't know if it will happen again (I hope it will), but I do know that something shifted. I acknowledged all those dark places, and I'm still here. He didn't strike me dead. 

A man cannot be comfortable 
without his own approval.
-- Mark Twain

I'm trusting in Him to show me how to learn to approve of myself. To see who I really am. Warts and all. To love myself despite my dark places. And maybe by acknowledging those dark places, I can spread some light in them while sweeping out the dust and cobwebs. Creating more space for Him.

*****

Since writing this piece last year I've gone on several more silent journeys of meditation, both guided and unguided. I am continuing to open myself up to God. To trust Him to remain constant and loving. I'm definitely clearing dust and cobwebs and replacing them with love and light. It is not an easy journey, and it is one that I must make on my own. I'm glad I stepped out in longing and fear. It was worth the leap of faith.

linking up with Writer's Workshop


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